Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Lots to Report

Kaari is finished, except for one tiny detail. I didn't buy another ball of yarn and I just got to the end by the skin of my teeth, with enough yarn to sew down the collar on the inside. Then I realized I had overlooked something.

You can probably see what it is. But by the time I've given it a soak and a spin and left it to dry, I should have found some navy blue yarn somewhere and I can finish the pockets. I last tried it on before I cast on for the collar and I was happy with it then so I'm feeling quite positive.

Every time I looked at photographs of this sweater, I thought the collar was knitted on in stocking stitch, finished off in rib, and then turned inside out, but in fact it's the reverse; you start in rib first, then knit four inches of reverse stocking stitch and then turn it outside in. Interesting. Kaari, knitted in Paton's Jet, in 508, dark blue, on a 5mm circular needle with 4.5mm for the ribbing. I knitted a size smaller and it came out the right size. (This wasn't dumb luck; I tried knitting the right size first, and it came out too big.)

I also knitted 24 inches of i-cord with Kidsilk Haze and a pair of 4mm bamboo dpns, and finished the Mary Jane Hat. This was a nice little knit.

It starts with two strands of Kidsilk Haze held double and then it changes to a single strand: at the same time you turn the hat inside out and knit the stripes in reverse stocking stitch. I'm not sure that it gains anything by the inside-out-turning, and if I knit it again I'll probably skip that.

I fell off the yarn wagon last week, but not really because I know what I'm going to make with the yarn so that makes it OK. One of my friends is trekking to the Everest Base Camp this Spring, and I want to knit her something warm and light to wear under whatever technical hat she's going to wear. I'm assuming that the outer layer will be something wind- and waterproof but I thought a little cosy something couldn't go wrong. I've been looking for a while and wondering if I should go for yak or possum (she's a New Zealander so that would be appropriate) or something else exotic, but I came across some cashmere lace by Hedgehog Fibres which I think will do nicely.

It's dark and light blues with lots of rich browns and some grey. Beata's colours are never bright, but you certainly couldn't call them dull: they really concentrate one's attention. If you join her mailing list she will email you when she puts stuff on the Etsy site (I think it's usually on Saturday night) and then, well, you know the rest. PayPal haemorrhage ensues. Her blog is here.

I don't know whether I should just make a stocking cap, or if I should go for what I would call a balaclava, some sort of helmet which would cover her neck as well. Maybe a stocking cap with earflaps. Maybe a lacy cowl would be more useful and provide lots of warmth without weight. Have any of my readers attempted Everest Base Camp and can make recommendations? The odd thing is that another of my friends did it last year. Even when I was well, I was never known for my exertions. I did go through a phase when I read a lot of climbing books, but that's as far as it got, so it seems odd that I should know two people thus inclined. I suppose it shows how broadminded I am.

Dougal Haston at the summit of Everest, 24 September 1975, by Doug Scott

I watched four episodes of The West Wing yesterday, from Series Seven, which helped with the Kidsilk i-cord. I got quite hyped up and kept expecting someone to dash into my sitting room and give me lots of orders, while wise-cracking. No-one did. I've been catching up with movies too. I watched Juno again, and watched the bloopers which was good because it was nice to see Jason Bateman being normal after watching him doing such a good job of being a selfish creep in the film.

I tried twice to watch Synecdoche, NY and lost the will to live both times. This is a pity as I always thought I would watch Philip Seymour Hoffman reading the telephone directory and here it turns out I wouldn't. I hadn't realized it was a Charlie Kaufman film: the only film of his that I've liked was Being John Malkovich and even that I haven't liked enough to watch twice. It didn't have subtitles, which as we know drives me crazy, but actually that didn't matter because most of the dialogue was along the lines of WTF and so on. It often had the feel of being improvised by actors who were inexperienced at improv, and since these actors aren't, I can only assume it was actually a bad script. Anyway, I gave up. Twice.

In the world of current movies, I saw Up in the Air, which passes the time pleasantly, but really, an Oscar? More than one Oscar? I'm baffled. It's very light. I would say that anyone who thinks that it makes any serious points should get out more, or in the words of Peter de Vries, 'Deep down, it's very shallow.' It also had the feel of having had a different ending tacked on after it was finished.

I also saw It's Complicated, which is funnier than Up in the Air and doesn't pretend to be anything else. I wondered about the ending of that too, since it has a pseudo-moral tone which the first 110 minutes lacked, but I didn't wonder too much. One very unexpected treat in it was a link with the wonderful world of knitting. Yes, really. I kept thinking, 'That beautiful girl reminds me of someone,' and I eventually remembered who it was. And it's really her.

Her name is Caitlin Fitzgerald, and if I remember correctly, she's Pam Allen's daughter. Pretty cool, to go from Interweave Knits to a Meryl Streep movie.

That cover brings us incredibly neatly to Moorecat's comment on my previous post about shibori felting. There's a reason why that's a very good idea and why I should have thought of it myself but I'll have to wait to tell you more.

While we're on the subject of knitting mags, I got Rowan 47 and there's more in it that I might knit than there usually is in a Spring mag.

That little waistcoat / vest / gilet on the front is just the sort of simple thing I like which is usually difficult to find patterns for. It's designed to be knitted with Lenpur Linen, but I think I might do it with something woolly meanwhile. It's the same guage as Rowan's Wool Cotton, which isn't very exciting to knit with but does give a very good fabric.

I like this too, and I think it's the same gauge as Summer Tweed, which I don't find as hard on my hands as pure cotton.

There are also some lovely Kaffe Fassett designs for cushion covers and throws in Summer Tweed, the charts for which are available on the Rowan website.


Knitting Linguist said...

So many good things! The sweater looks lovely -- I bet you'll wear that a lot. And I adore that yarn you bought to knit for the base camp trip; no, I haven't been there, and probably never will, but I imagine that if I were to go, something knitted out of that yarn would be exactly what I would want to take along with me.

Janet said...

Phew, there's a lot to talk about in your blog. I like the Caitlin picture - I'll show my granddaughter of same name.
Good for you to call Jean's attention to her historical hiccup re the royal domain. I didn't twig on that the first time around.
Janet in Seattle/Dublin

Raveller said...

eek, lots to comment on! It's like that game where you examine a tray of oddments which is then taken out of the room and you try to remember as many as you can....let's see. Oh yes, the pullover - love it! The neckline looks perfect for a colourful scarf. Hmmmm, Wonderful picture of the red hat. I can almost feel it. And kudos on identifying Caitlin. I've always been intrigued by her smile. I haven't seen ANY of those movie, but I will definitely try to see that one. I've been curious about Synedoche - Hoffman is local, but I don't need anything depressing at this point!

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Everest Base Camp Trek said...

nice knitting works!